Austin Rivers: Rockets More Talented Than Warriors Minus Kevin Durant

Give Austin Rivers credit, he didn't hide how he felt Friday on ESPN's "First Take."

When discussing the Rockets' loss to the Warriors in the second round of the NBA playoffs, Houston's guard admitted his team thought the Dubs would "fold" once Kevin Durant went down with a strained calf in Game 5. He also gave Golden State credit for battling in Game 6 and doing whatever it took to eliminate the Rockets.

He also said something that might raise some eyebrows in the Bay Area. 

"You look at a team that is based out of mostly one-on-one," Rivers said. "And then we're playing against a team who's the best ball-movement team possibly ever, that's a bad matchup. Because talent-wise, if you look at (the Warriors' roster) and ours -- with KD out, it's not even close. Their bench is nowhere near the talent that we had."

Uh ... what now?

Even with Durant out with a strained right calf, the Warriors still boasted two of the best shooters in NBA history, a possible future Hall of Famer in Andre Iguodala and one of the best defenders in league history in Draymond Green. The Rockets were no doubt a talented team in their own right, but a bench unit consisting of Rivers, Iman Shumpert, Nene, Gerald Green and Danuel House Jr., doesn't exactly tip the scales in their favor.

To Rivers' point, the Warriors' bench, other than Kevon Looney, was rendered basically unplayable in the series against the Rockets until Game 6 when everyone from Looney to Jordan Bell played a role in the win. On the other end of the spectrum, Mike D'Antoni was forced to shorten his rotation to basically eight players in Game 6, with Nene seeing only nine minutes of action in the deciding game and House being relegated to cheerleader.

[RELATED: NBA Finals outcome reportedly could affect KD's free-agency decision]

The Rockets had their chance to beat the Warriors, and they whiffed. But were they more talented? Rivers knows the (real) answer.

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